British Craft Trade Fair 2015 April 17, 2015 17:23

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

Last week I travelled up to Harrogate in Yorkshire to take part in the British Craft Trade Fair 2015.

I've had stalls at a few different consumer fairs, where you're selling directly to customers. The purpose of a trade show is to see if galleries, shops or larger retailers would be interested in stocking my work. As a gallery owner myself, I had some idea of the kind of information people would be looking for but there were still a few questions I hadn't bargained for!

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated TextilesLottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles Hare Shopping BagLottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

The BCTF website (I won't link as it's currently having a few issues!) was full of great advice for newcomers, with tips on displays, promotional material and guide documents for taking orders. The most useful advice was to create a mock-up of my stall before I travelled. I would definitely second that.

It was great to meet so many people and talk to them about my work. It was a good move to bring along my screen printed double deck chair, a few people with tired legs just couldn't resist a sit down!

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated TextilesLottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated TextilesLottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

Harrogate is such a beautiful town, I stayed in the Ascot House Hotel, which had beautiful tiled floors, an incredible stained glass window and some fantastic wallpaper, all good for inspiration!

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

There was no way I could visit Harrogate without taking a trip to the legendary Betty's Tea Room for some cake! A lot of their merchandise is illustrated by one of my favourite artists Emily Sutton, I had to use all my will power not to buy it all.

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

This was the first outing for our brand new catalogue, we've been working on it for a couple of months now and we're really pleased with the results.

We learned so much during the fair and now have a notebook full of great advice. A lot of people told me to shout about the fact that our products are all British-made and hand-made as people often assume that our goods are bought in cheap and made abroad!

Lottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated TextilesLottie Day Screen Printed Illustrated Textiles

One of the most enjoyable parts of the weekend was to meet other designer-makers and see the kinds of amazing work that's out there, I was stationed near the fantastic silversmith Juliette Bigley, who deservedly won an award for her fantastic work.

To be honest, I wasn't expecting to get many orders as I'd been told that as a newcomer, it was likely that galleries and retailers would wait to see if I'm still exhibiting next year, a lot of newcomers don't stay the course. So I was really pleased to receive a number small orders from galleries around the country.

Now I'm straight back into the studio to get my orders out to my new stockists!